WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — An 80-year-old former associate of ex-Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the 1991 fatal shooting of an armored truck guard.
Ralph DeMasi also was ordered held without bail during his arraignment on murder and robbery charges in Worcester Superior Court.
Edward Morlock, of Athol, was shot while carrying bags of money from a Shaw’s supermarket in Worcester. DeMasi and three other men, who have since died, robbed the 52-year-old Morlock and escaped in a waiting car, prosecutors said.
DeMasi’s lawyer, Michael Hussey, said he didn’t have information about evidence in the 1991 killing.
DeMasi, of Salisbury, served more than 21 years in prison for a different armored car robbery in Newburyport and later testified at Bulger’s 2013 racketeering trial.
Bulger, once one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives, fled Boston in 1994 following a tip from an FBI agent that he was about to be indicted and finally was captured with his longtime girlfriend in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. He’s serving a life prison sentence on convictions for a litany of crimes, including playing a role in 11 murders. He has called his trial a “sham.”
DeMasi testified, under orders from a judge, about how he was shot eight times while riding in a car in Boston in 1973, in an attack that killed the driver. He said he didn’t see who pulled the trigger.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Bulger had nothing to do with Morlock’s killing and the robbery. Early also declined to name the three other men.
After Wednesday’s arraignment, Morlock’s widow, Jeannette Morlock, had angry words for DeMasi.
“I hope he burns in hell,” she said. “I have no sympathy for him.”
DeMasi’s daughter, Susan DeMasi, also attended the court hearing and said she did not believe the allegations against him.
“He’s always been such a loving person,” she said. “I can’t imagine him killing anybody.”
Susan DeMasi also said she believes her father and Bulger might be “pen pals,” having corresponded with each other after Bulger was convicted.
Ralph DeMasi is scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 23.
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